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I don't think I've put crampons on for such a short period of time! It only took us about 5 minutes to climb the steep, hard section leading to Gothics' subsummit. From here, the trail descends slightly into a col between it and the main summit. There are no more steep sections, and the deep snow returned. So, it was back to Snowshoes!

Although it was still cloudy, it was clear that the clouds were flowing by fast and the sun was trying mightily to shine through.
courtesy RHanel
Jenn on subsummit
Objective faintly in view
Lots of new snow
From the sub-summit on, it appeared that there wasn't even a faint track to follow. Perhaps the person who broke the faint path stopped at the subsummit? Anyhow, it was slightly tricky to find the correct route through the col to the summit, and we left a few dead-end tracks here and there to confuse hikers to come (not on purpose, mind you).
courtesy RHanel
Some other guys
Final crest
Grand view
It isn't long before we rise out of the scrubby trees and onto the open summit ridge of Gothics. Amazingly, right at this time, the majority of the clouds began to break apart, revealing a blustery and wonderful winter panorama. Spindrift flew off the edge of the ridge, and nearby snowy peaks repeatedly faded into and out of view. Very spectacular.

As a side note, you may notice that all of my pictures from this point onwards are in black-and-white. It looks like I accidentally switched my camera into black-and-white mode, and amazingly I didn't notice. So, I wasn't trying to be artistic (although some of the shots look kinda nice in b&w). Fortunately, Roland took many excellent shots, in color, with his camera, so we still had some good color photos to work with.
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
Roland's scenic tree shot
View towards Giant
Sculpted Snow
courtesy RHanel
The way we came
Snow, Pyramid, and Dix
Blustery and Wintery
The final walk along the ridge to the summit was delightful. We all posed for shots, and took in the views.

We didn't stay long, though, because it was getting on in the afternoon and we still had Armstrong to do, and we had a good idea that the trail from here on would be completely unbroken (Meaning the going would be slow and hard).
courtesy RHanel
Jenn reaching the very top
Chuggin' along
Jenn and Andrew on Gothics
courtesy RHanel
Uncle and Nephew on Summit
Roland on Gothics
We continued over Gothics' summit and down the northeast ridge. It was spectacular. The heavy snow had transformed the trail into a very nice open ridgeline descent, and it was an exhilarating bit of hiking from the summit down to where the trees closed in. You'll notice lots of fantastic shots looking down and up this section - including some particularly great ones from Roland showing racing clouds and blowing spindrift.
courtesy RHanel
Jenn descends the northeast ridge
Descending northeast ridge
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(last message posted on Tue. Feb. 27, 17:23 EST 2007 by Andrew)
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